Law students at Stanford University are using their status and prestige to tell “radical” first-year students that it is hip to destroy America.
The Stanford National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group at Stanford Law School comprised of left-wing students seeking to “challenge systemic criminalization and marginalization of people of color,” sent the first-years a guide to how to persist while learning “how evil the US legal system is.” The group claims the top-tier law school is full of “compromised ideologies” such as an “obsession and focus on ‘national security’ to serve xenophobic interests.”
Titled “A Letter to Incoming/Progressive Radical Students,” the guide was sent last week, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon. The 32-page document provides guidance for students if they “find [themselves] feeling outraged at the blatant racism/homophobia/xenophobia, etc. perpetuated by the law.”
One could call it a manifesto.
How to Be An Activist
Tips offered by the group include encouraging 1L’s to “skim or skip readings” or even “opt out,” and learn “how to not give a f-ck” due to the Ivy League institution they chose to enroll in being allegedly oppressive. On page 22, a drawing depicts a cartoon student and states, “Everything is pointless,” offering that getting involved with left-wing organizations will change one’s outlook.
Some of the organizations advertised as advantageous to get involved with include Law for Black Lives, a membership-based group to help students “explore ways of being an abolitionist lawyer,” and Abolish Stanford. The latter group seeks to defund police and prisons and unveiled a “Solidarity with Palestine” statement in May.
The guide also links to the “Radical Law Student Project,” an initiative of individuals affiliated with the National Lawyers Guild across the country. Radical Law Student Project published a manual with sections called “Law School for Social Justice Activists” and “Students Must Organize!” that came on the heels of its fall 2021 “DisOrientation” manual. The manual discusses “critical legal studies” (CLS), a branch of critical race theory.
“CLS contends that the law is shaped by the political and moral beliefs of the lawmakers,” the referenced document states on page 8. “CLS seeks to show how the legal order systematically reflects, generates and reinforces poverty and class inequity as well as sexism, homophobia and racism. This method of criticism has its roots in the deconstructionist movement in philosophy.”
NLG is well-known for its aim to dismantle an objective view of the law. The group urged President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland in a June letter to dismiss federal charges against hundreds of violent Black Lives Matter protestors and rioters from last year.
Back in April, the organization declared its dissatisfaction with the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The verdict was insufficient, they claimed, and NLG called for “abolition” and “systemic change” to the policing system.
Privilege Goes A Long Way
While Stanford NLG’s guide claims not many “legal jobs…will pay you to undermine capitalism,” it notes “there are a few, and [Stanford Law School] grads have disproportionate access to them.” Thus, while preaching about systemic racism and the ostensibly corrupt nature of the United States, it seems the woke students are at least somewhat aware of their own collegiate privilege.
According to U.S. News and World Report, Stanford Law is ranked number 2 in the country behind Yale University. It has an admittance rate of about 10 percent. A high 27 percent of 2020 graduates from the school went on to obtain a judicial clerkship, and 42 percent took a job at a law firm with 500 or more employees, as cited by an internal report.
GianCarlo Canaparo, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Federalist the biggest irony is that these extremist law students will land jobs paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars after school.
“Who else but the supremely privileged could scorn their own elite legal education and be rewarded for it? So many other people who value hard work and individual merit will only ever dream of having the benefits that these students pretend to hate,” Canaparo said.
Stephen Sills, president of Stanford College Republicans, told The Federalist NLG’s guide shows its members do not appreciate the opportunity to study at its distinguished law school.
“We can only imagine how many students would readily take the place of any of these privileged and entitled students,” Sills said, “many of whom would demonstrate both the hard work and gratitude that these radical leftists blatantly lack.”
Future ‘Anti-Racist’ Leaders
While Stanford NLG’s manual claims “Law school is a slow-moving, conservative place,” lawyers continue to come out of schools as leftists. In fact, a 2016 paper by scholars at Stanford, University of Chicago, and Harvard University found the top 14 law schools in the U.S “have distributions that lean to the left” and “there are more liberal alumni from those schools than there are conservative alumni.”
“Not only do all of the schools lean to the left, the skew is fairly extreme in several of the schools,” the paper also found.
Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told The Federalist it is clear Stanford is not a “slow-moving-conservative place” based on the various courses offered for second and third-year students.
“These include Advances Criminal Defense Clinic, Advanced Environmental Law Clinic, Advanced Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Energy Law, Federal Indian Law, Global Litigation, Law and Culture in American Fiction, Modern Surveillance Law, Sociology of Law, Three Strikes Project, Youth Law and Policy,” Wood said. “These may be perfectly good courses, but they hardly suggest a ‘slow conservative place.'”
NLG did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
‘Struggling’ Through Their Institutional March
“Movement Lawyering” is a term referenced several times in the Stanford document, which calls it synonymous with “radical lawyering” or “rebellious lawyering,” and says it can be further understood by reading a document titled “Red, Black, And Green New Deal National Black Climate Agenda,” among others.
Stanford NGL’s manual links to the sorts of policies a Movement Lawyer would ideally champion. This includes universal basic income, a “lifetime right” for black people to receive reparations, and the abolition of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.
Just as Marxism is understood through the notion of “class struggle,” Stanford’ NLG’s guide states, “Movement lawyering is not the only framework that inspires us, but radical social movement struggle is often the source of the political frames that resonate with us.” It is an application of the term to the culture war, or rather, cultural marxism in practice.
Other high-ranking law schools flirt with Movement Lawyering. Cornell, which U.S. News and World Report ranks at number 13 in the country, has an entire clinic dedicated to it.
“In the Movement Lawyering Clinic, law students provide legal support for social justice groups including women’s liberation, Black liberation, immigrants’ and LGBTQ rights, and more,” Cornell states on its website. “In the Movement Lawyering Clinic, law students provide legal support for movements, organizations, and organizers.”
Sills indicated to The Federalist he finds it absurd the well-positioned law students do not believe in their social justice cause enough to leave Stanford, which he sees as comprised of a “white leftist elite.”
“If these students really believed that the Stanford Law School upheld institutions of ‘patriarchal racial colonial capitalism,’ then they would readily give up their spot to other students eager to take their place,” the College Republicans president said. “The fact that these students refuse to do so merely speaks to their membership and adjacency to the white leftist elite they claim to condemn.”
Stanford Law School did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment seeking clarification as to whether it backs the NGL manual. Below is the full guide, courtesy of the Free Beacon.